Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 8/03/2007

This week, the Moon will be near last quarter and won't rise over the trees until after midnight, so there will be plenty of time to catch some ancient photons from those deep sky objects we love.  Planet-wise, we'll be viewing Jupiter since the Earth's trip around the Sun has moved Saturn out of convenient evening view until next April.  Venus is another story since its inside track around the Sun puts it out of convenient evening viewing with that wonderful crescent shape until February and March of 2009.  Jupiter's four moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, will be visible and we'll be able to see Io (pronounced eye'-oh or eee'-oh) disappear behind Jupiter at 10:05pm and reappear at 1:25am Saturday.  Double stars, some beautifully colored, are another class of object we love to observe and there are plenty of those to see.  Globular clusters, open clusters, planetary nebula and galaxies are all on the agenda.  We'll have a great night with plenty to keep us busy!
Click Here for a list of DeepSky Objects that will be available to us this session.

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - our twelfth year.

Observing conditions in Stow, map to our location and other useful information is available here:

ClearSkyClock for Fishcreek Site  (the darker blue the squares are, the better)

For exact directions to our location, just click on 'Road Map' in the 'Nifty Links' section immediately below the Sky Clock.

The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be on Friday, 8/03/07 at 9:49pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from

Quick links:
Sun  Moon  Mercury  Venus  Mars  Jupiter  Saturn  Uranus  Neptune  Pluto  &  General Information
All times are shown in EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) as seen from Stow, Ohio.

Sun data:
     Rise 6:19am
     Transit: 1:31pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets 8:43pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Distance: 1.01466966 AU = 151,792,421 km = 94,319,439 miles
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.53 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Civil twilight ends at 9:11pm ( When the Sun is 6 degrees below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at 9:49pm ( When the Sun is 12 degrees below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at 10:31pm ( When the Sun is 18 degrees below the horizon )
     Autumnal Equinox: Sunday Sept 23, 2007 at 5:51am (when fall will officially be here)
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Moon data:
     Rise 10:50pm
     Transit: 5:51am Aug 4 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets 12:57pm Aug 4
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase: 70.21% illuminated (waning gibbous)
     20.57 days since last New Moon
     Distance: 0.00247538 AU = 370,311 km = 230,101 miles
     Magnitude: -11.0
     Apparent size: 32.26 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 113.71 degrees (morning sky)
     Next Phase: Last Quarter on Sunday Aug 5, 2007 at 5:20pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Tuesday August 28, 2007 at 5:51am
At 29 minutes after midnight, the Moon will be in the east at an altitude of 15 and look like this in binoculars:   
or like this at low power in the telescopes, except with far more detail - honest!
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Mercury data:
     Rise 5:11am
     Transit: 12:39pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets 8:06pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase: 84.70% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
     Distance: 1.20374079 AU = 180,077,060 km = 111,894,699 miles
     Elongation from Sun: 12.61 degrees (morning sky)
     Magnitude: -1.2
     Apparent size: 5.59 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Altitude at 9:49pm: 16 below the north western horizon
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Venus data:
     Rise: 8:21am
     Transit 2:45pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 9:10pm
     Constellation: Sextans
     Phase: 6.86% illuminated (waning crescent)
     Elongation from Sun: 21.27 degrees (evening sky)
     Distance: 0.31724660 AU = 47,459,416 km = 29,489,914 miles
     Magnitude: mag -4.3 Bright, but below the horizon at Nautical Twilight
     Apparent size: 52.60 arcseconds in angular diameter
At 9:49pm Venus will be 8 below the north western horizon, but it will look like this in the telescopes before it sets:
At 8:26pm, before the Sun sets, Venus will be in the west at an altitude of 7
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Mars data:
     Rise: 1:05am Aug 4
     Transit 8:19am Aug 4 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 3:35pm Aug 4
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase: 86.13% illuminated
     Distance: 1.30634572 AU = 195,426,538 km = 121,432,422 miles
     Magnitude: mag 0.5
     Apparent size: 7.16 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting larger)
     Elongation from Sun: 73.41 degrees (morning sky)
     Next close approach of Mars is on Monday, Dec 24, 2007
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Jupiter data:
     Rise: 4:24pm
     Transit 9:10pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 1:56am Aug 4
     Constellation: Ophiuchus (pronounced oh-fee-oo'-cuss)
     Phase: 99.29% illuminated
     Distance: 4.73813653 AU = 708,815,136 km = 440,437,312 miles
     Magnitude: mag -2.4
     Elongation from Sun: 118.65 degrees (evening sky)
     Apparent size: 41.61 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday Aug 4, 2007 at 1:54am
     GRS longitude: 116.1
This animated GIF of Jupiter and its four moons begins at 8:00pm EST and runs until Jupiter is
     below the horizon at 2:00am Saturday morning.  You can read the altitude and azimuth in the
     caption below Jupiter.  This image is neither inverted nor reversed and will look like this in binoculars
     or a non-inverting telescope.  Frames are 20 minutes apart.  Io will disappear behind Jupiter at
     10:05pm and will reappear from Jupiter's shadow at 1:25am on Aug 4, 2007 as the video demonstrates..
     'Alt' is degrees above the horizon, 'Az' is azimuth: 0 is north, 90 is east, 180 is south and 270 is west
It's really special to see Io suddenly appear when it emerges from Jupiter's shadow!
     The GRS (Great Red Spot) will be seen rotating into view around Jupiter's lower left rim at 1:00am
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Saturn data:
     Rise: 7:37am
     Transit 2:33pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 9:29pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase: 99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 10.20455071 AU = 1,526,579,057 km = 948,572,261 miles
     Magnitude: mag 0.6
     Elongation from Sun: 14.98 degrees (evening sky)
     Apparent size: 16.29 arcseconds in angular diameter
At 9:49pm Saturn and five of its brightest moons will be 5 below the north western horizon,
     but would have looked like this in the telescopes if we could see it:
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Uranus data:
     Rise: 10:07pm
     Transit 3:52am Aug 4 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 9:38am Aug 4
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase: 99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 19.26987800 AU = 2,882,732,717 km = 1,791,247,088 miles
     Magnitude: mag 5.7
     Elongation from Sun: 143.30 degrees (morning sky)
     Apparent size: 3.66 arcseconds in angular diameter
     At 9:49pm Uranus is 4 below the eastern horizon
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Neptune data:
     Rise: 8:57pm
     Transit: 2:09am Aug 4 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 7:21am Aug 4
     Constellation: Capricornus
     Phase: 100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 29.04470912 AU = 4,345,026,640 km = 2,699,874,417 miles
     Magnitude: mag 7.8
     Elongation from Sun: 170.45 degrees (morning sky)
     Apparent size: 2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
     At 9:49pm Neptune is 7 above the south eastern horizon
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 5:16pm
     Transit 10:22pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 3:28am Aug 4
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase: 99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 30.59887960 AU = 4,577,527,233 km = 2,844,343,590 miles
     Magnitude: mag 14.4
     Elongation from Sun: 134.83 degrees (evening sky)
     Apparent size: 0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
     At 9:49pm Pluto is 31 3/4 above the south south-eastern horizon
     (back to 'Quick Links')

General Information - Q&A of Where, When and What 

Very sincerely yours,
Dave Jessie
"Time spent observing the heavens is not deducted from your life span"

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